Gone Greek: Lysistrata

Ancient Greek comedies are not performed too often these days. It isn’t for lack of quality; the survivors are packed with absurdist plots, madcap banter and more dick jokes than a whole season of Family Guy. But if good tragedy is universal, good comedy is specific. The political satire and pop culture references that were trending… More Gone Greek: Lysistrata

Review: Spectre

The secret of the Bond franchise’s longevity is not just in the fundamentals – the slick spy, beautiful women, grotesque villains and outrageous stunts. It’s how damn reactionary the series is. Adapting Ian Fleming’s novels went out of vogue in Sean Connery’s day, despite the occasional revival (the second half of Casino Royale) or borrowed title (thanks… More Review: Spectre

In Praise of Paywalls

Or; How I learned to stop skimping and pay for the New Yorker It’s almost been three months since the New Yorker opened its delectable digital pantry to all comers. Billed as a “summer-long-free-for-all”(despite arriving rather haphazardly at the season’s end), the door to a decade’s worth of literary treats was left ajar, a lure… More In Praise of Paywalls

Rebirthing a Monster

“The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine…” Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a curious novel: as half-formed, ill-shaped and yet peppered with brilliance as the Creature itself. It is a rare case where the iconography of its multitude of adaptations and progeny – piling on the electrodes and burning windmills –… More Rebirthing a Monster

A Farewell to Studio Ghibli

Yesterday, statements from Studio Ghibli’s general manager Toshio Suzuki on Japanese television set off a firestorm online lamenting the end of the legendary animation house. What Suzuki actually meant remains unclear – although initial reports in English claimed that the studio was being dissolved outright, subsequent translations (and the absence of a similar pandemonium in… More A Farewell to Studio Ghibli